TOP GUN: MAVERICK – Review by Susan Granger

After welcoming audiences into the theater, Tom Cruise flies high in Top Gun: Maverick as a defiant, daredevil fighter pilot, pushing a plane’s limits – and that’s just the opening sequence. Still a U.S. Navy Captain, Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell is ordered back to the elite training program, Top Gun Academy in San Diego, to prepare a group of rowdy hotshots for a dangerous overseas mission. They’re to destroy a uranium enrichment plant that’s been cleverly hidden in a heavily-fortified valley surrounded by steep mountains.

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TOP GUN MAVERICK- Review by T.J. Callahan

You’d think Hollywood would be entering the danger zone by bringing us a sequel so many years later, but goodness gracious great balls of fire, fans will NOT be losing that loving feeling. “Top Gun: Maverick” gives groupies everything they want and more, even though Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer are the only returning stars. With Kilmer suffering from throat cancer in real life, it’s amazing he was able to make the film and he looks great. Even our hero, Tom, finally showing he’s not totally ageless, proves no mission is impossible doing his own flying and, as a producer, making sure the action was real and didn’t rely on CGI. If you have a need for speed, Top Gun: Maverick is your thrill ride of the summer.

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VAL – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Before he earned the nickname “Iceman” and became a 1990s icon as Batman, Val Kilmer loved goofing around in front of and behind a camera. He’s collected a treasure trove of footage throughout his life that the documentary Val pieces together into an immersive narrative about his love of art, acting, and family.

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THE BIRTHDAY CAKE – Review by Susan Granger

Set in Brooklyn, this mob film begins with the 10th anniversary of Giovanni’s father’s death. Giovanni (Shiloh Fernandez) dutifully goes home and dons a suit to continue the family tradition of delivering the titular cake, baked by his widowed mother Sophia (Lorraine Bracco), to the home of his Uncle Angelo (Val Kilmer), the local Italian/American Mafia boss.

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